Nearly all suicides result from treatable mental disorders. As with other illnesses like heart disease and cancer, suicide deaths cannot be prevented by prayer alone. Professional medical treatment is the answer God provides to our prayers.
This article tells what the Bible says about suicide, and it also lists professional resources available if you or someone you care about is at risk for suicide.
"I came naked from my mother's womb," he said, "and I shall have nothing when I die. The Lord gave me everything I had, and they were his to take away. Blessed be the name of the Lord." (TLB, Job 1:21)
More specifically, God has given life to each of us to do his work on Earth. Our bodies belong to God, not to ourselves. So, it is up to Him to decide when our work on Earth is finished, not up to us:
Haven't you yet learned that your body is the home of the Holy Spirit God gave you, and that he lives within you? Your own body does not belong to you. For God has bought you with a great price. So use every part of your body to give glory back to God because he owns it. (TLB, 1st Corinthians 6:19-20)
Often, the hard times in our lives, when things may seem hopeless, are really opportunities to learn valuable lessons such as humility, dependence on God, the value of prayer, or to learn how to help others who are suffering. In times when things seem the worst, we can be sure that God loves us more than ever:
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. (NIV, Luke 12:6-7 )
"For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it shall be opened. "Or what man is there among you, when his son shall ask him for a loaf, will give him a stone? "Or if he shall ask for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him! (NAS, Matthew 7:8-11)
People often wonder if a person who dies from suicide can be saved and get to heaven, but the Bible does not give an answer. Most Christians believe what matters most to God is how a person lives his or her life rather than how he or she dies.
God often uses other people to answer our prayers (Genesis 24:12-16, Ezra 1:1-3, Acts 9:10-17). As with other illnesses, treatment from a healthcare professional is often God's answer to prayers about depression and other mental illnesses.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, depression is a disorder of the brain that can be treated with medication and/or psychotherapy. Symptoms of depression include:
Depression can make things seem hopeless when actually they are not. Anyone feeling severely depressed or having thoughts of suicide should promise himself or herself not to take any action until discussing it with a school guidance counselor, physician, psychologist, psychiatrist, hospital emergency room physician or suicide hotline. All these people are trained to recognize warning signs of depression and to know how to help.
The following signs may mean someone is at risk for suicide. The risk of suicide is greater if a behavior is new or has increased and if it seems related to a painful event, loss, or change. All threats or talk of suicide should be taken seriously. If you or someone you know exhibits any of these signs, seek help as soon as possible.
Related Articles: God's Love for Mankind, Why Does God Allow Evil and Suffering?
1 Suicide, National Institute of Mental Health, https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/suicide.shtml, retrieved 7/13/2019.
2 6 Myths About Suicide That Every Educator And Parent Should Know, NPR, September 2, 2016, https://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/09/02/478835539/6-myths-about-suicide-that-every-educator-and-parent-should-know, retrieved 7/13/2019.
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